Over time, wood furniture loses its luster. But you don't have to discard or sell it when this happens. All it takes is a few simple steps to restore wood and have it looking elegant again. So, don't buy all new furniture — strip your old-looking wood furniture and re-stain it. Work in a well-ventilated area such as your open garage or on an outdoor deck or patio.
And lets just say that was the best decision EVER! The directions on the back on the bottle said that the product works in as little as 30 minutes. But because the first desk that I was stripping had 2 very thick coats of paint, plus a satin on it, I decided to paint a coat of the stripping gel on the entire desk and then let it set up for 3 hours before attempting to go back and scrap all the paint off. But it took a bit more work with a wire brush to remove the paint from the knobby legs and crevices. I found this little pick in my husbands tool box to get the paint out of the teeny tiny groves in the legs.
Finding out which wood stripping method to use, and how to contain the debris, makes a messy job cleaner, safer, and more effective. Everyone knows that the simplest way to rejuvenate a tired surface is to put on a fresh coat of paint. Eventually, however, all new paint becomes old paint. Whether it cracks and blisters or just forms a lumpy blanket of pigments and binders, it begs to come off.
Stripping a finish is faster than sanding to remove it. This is one I come across often. People tell me in one way or another, that they are going to sand off the finish or paint. So then I point out that stripping is faster, and in the case of paint could even be safer than sanding. Or, for shellac or lacquer finishes I like using the solvent for the finish, denatured alcohol for shellac and lacquer thinner for lacquer.